When people decide they want to change the way they look, they typically start with the scale, weighing themselves and determining that the number they see needs to be lower. But, your weight is not the whole story. There are other more meaningful metrics that often get overlooked but if you pay attention to them, you will see much greater success.
Simply speaking, weight is a combination of height, lean muscle, and body fat. Because of this, it can be a deceiving number. Take, for example, a woman who lifts weights regularly. You may look at a petite woman who is “toned” and decide she must weigh very little when in fact she weighs more than you think. Why? She has more lean muscle than she has body fat. Muscle weighs more than fat. What’s more, muscle is more compact. So, our bodies can cram a lot more muscle than fat. Why is this important? Well, if you think you’re trying to lose weight, you’re probably really wanting to lose body fat. And, if you shed the fat the proper way, through building muscle and eating enough protein and nutrients to fuel that growth, you may actually see your weight go up! That’s a huge mind bender!
If you read my post a few weeks ago you know that cardio alone will not bring sustained weight loss. This is why you may see someone who runs regularly but who isn’t actually fit. Or they may appear skinny but they don’t have enough muscle on their frame hence the term “skinny fat.” The best way to change your body is not thinking about moving the scale down, but think about moving the muscle up. The only way to do this is through resistance training combined with a healthy diet.
Resistance training often is not the first thing people think of when they want to lose weight but it’s the best thing for them. And it doesn’t take much time. Two to three days a week for 45 minutes to an hour is all you need. In fact, beginners will see huge gains with just 30 minutes of weight training two to three times a week. And it doesn’t require a gym membership or a ton of equipment. Your own body weight is all you need. If you have a pair of dumbbells, even better.
So, the next time you look in the mirror and think “I need to lose some weight,” change the conversation to “I need to recomp my body and pay closer attention to my nutrition.” Take a selfie, save it, and find a quality resistance training program or trainer to help you on the journey. I promise you, it will be worth it. You will see sustained results and you will look and feel better.